From Uzbekistan To Woodbury Road

From left: Sal, Al and Izik ply their trade in Izik’s Barber Shop on Woodbury Road. (Photos by George Haber)

For three relatives from Uzbekistan, haircutting is all in the family.

When Al and Solomon (“Sal”) Basanelov and brother-in-law Izik Pinkhasov came to America more than 20 years ago, they each pursued different career paths. Al worked as a chef in a nursing home, Sal worked as a nurse and Izik began cutting hair in his father’s barber shop on East 93rd St. in Manhattan.

Young men in their teens, they had traveled with other relatives more than 9,000 miles west, to America, where they sought refuge from the tightly controlled and repressive regime that marked the former Soviet state.

Seeking a stable career with growth potential, the three relatives attended a New York City barber college and eventually lived out the American dream and opened their own shops—Al and Sal in a small shopping strip on Stewart Avenue in Hicksville and Izik in a shop on Woodbury Road off South Oyster Bay Road.

Al and Sal opened their barber shop in December 2012. They closed the shop early this year to join Izik, who had opened his shop in August 2014.

“It’s a great feeling to be working alongside relatives,” said Sal. “We have the same frame of reference, we laugh at the same jokes. We help each other overcome challenges or real problems. There’s no rivalry or jealousy.”

Izik said it is not unusual for a customer to request a specific barber—and when that happens, the others take it in stride.

“If a customer wants their hair cut specifically by any of us, the other two don’t get jealous. We’re all in this together,” said Izik.

The neighborhood has been kind to the hair-cutting trio so far, with a generous mix of new and return customers thanks to the shop’s proximity to the various shopping centers that populate Woodbury Road, South Oyster Bay Road and Old Country Road.

Izik’s Barber Shop was opened in 2014.

“I always liked the Plainview-Hicksville area,” Izik said. “The location has a good mix of potential customers—families, retirees, business people. And the Plainview mall right across the street is a good place to be near.”

The shop charges $15 for a haircut, which is far more reasonable than many local hair salons.

“It’s a fair price for a Long Island haircut,” Izik said. “We also give discounts to seniors and kids.”

Izik is proud of the high ratings his shop has been receiving on Yelp and other consumer-based web sites. Typical is the comment of one Manhattan resident who gave Izik’s a try on a trip to the island.

“This was my first time here,” he wrote. “Great haircut. Very professional. They pay attention to detail. Very clean, modern place. Good people.”

To enable customers to get a haircut no matter their work or family responsibilities, Izik’s is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The shop is located at 384 Woodbury Rd. in the same small shopping center as Raimos Pizza. For more information, call the barber shop at 516-513-0449 or just pop in for a snip.


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